PROJECT-E’S CONTRIBUTION TO SKILL DEVELOPMENT IN THE ETHIOPIAN HOSPITALITY SECTOR
Today, the 15th of July, is an important day for the world’s future: Thousands of people are raising awareness for the crucial value of youth’s skills development internationally. The PROJECT-E Hospitality Institute (PEHI) in Addis Ababa is also contributing to that goal by promoting young women’s high qualified skill development in the hospitality sector.
In November 2014, the General Assembly of the United Nations declared 15th of July as the “World Youth Skills Day.” The relevance of this declaration is high, considering that today’s world consists of around 1.2 billion young people at the age of 15 to 24, which equals 16 per cent of the overall global population. Young women and men are especially prone to slip into a situation of unemployment: According to UN, the likelihood of unemployment is three times higher for young people than it is for adults. Moreover, youth is the most vulnerable group to experience issues of inequality, underpayment and exploitative working conditions – these scenarios are in particular applying to young females. Hence, the proper skilling of the young population plays a crucial role in addressing the most pressuring global challenges of sustainable development in today’s world: poverty, unemployment issues, conflicts, flight and migration, as well as gender inequalities.
Many governments worldwide started addressing these global challenges with the implementation of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) strategies. With these TVET approaches, the youth will be supported to reach their highest professional competencies and secures a transition from schooling into work and employment. In total, an estimated 100 million out of 200 million young people in Africa find themselves in a situation of illiteracy, low-wage work and unemployment – and the numbers are rising. This prospect poses a serious threat to young people living in these conditions and the stability and sustainable development of most African countries. So, there is a double potential in sup porting youth by providing a qualified education: fewer people living in poverty and the economy benefiting. To exploit this potential, the Commission of the African Union (AUC) developed a “Continental TVET Strategy” in 2007 and is implementing “Action Plans for Education for Africa” in this context. With this TVET continental strategy, a comprehensive framework has been created for the development of national TVET-policies, -strategies and -systems of African governments. The TVET strategy is targeting, inter alia, particularly the improvement of collaboration opportunities between training institutions and employers, national quality assurance and portability of TVET qualifications and further cross-cutting issues of employability. In addition, the development of higher competencies within the population with the continental TVET strategy, could help adapt the technology and innovation, the industrialization of the economy and the transformation of the national production systems – a considerable gain for the creation of national prosperity and poverty reduction on the continent.
Ethiopia, as a member of the African Union, is implementing a national TVET strategy and system since 2007 that is mainly adopted from best practices of countries such as Australia, Korea and Germany. Even though there has been criticism on the adoption of an alien educational system into a completely different context, in the case of Ethiopia it seems to be working. So far, TVET has shown to play a major role in in the social and economic sphere of the country by providing 80 per cent of young skilled employees in the key sectors of hotel and tourism, construction, manufacturing, agriculture, information communication as well as infrastructure. Thus, the PEHI is functioning as one of the implementing institutions of the TVET strategy within the hotel and tourism sector of
Ethiopia. The programme of the PEHI is providing the students with a skills training that is meeting the standards of the national curricula of TVET in the hospitality sector and leading to official certificates for Hotel Operation up to Level 2. Moreover, the development of the direct connection to private sector actors is being targeted in order to promote the linkage between training institution and labour market needs. This is happening especially through included internships at the partnering hotels and is aiming to close the gap between the education at the PEHI and the real-life work conditions. More than anything, these practical trainings at the hotels are opening contacts to the sector and potential future employers. In doing so, the transition from training to actual employment is ensured. So far, this approach by the PEHI has offered official vocational training to around 90 female students a year with the assurance of direct transfer into secured jobs at high-class hotels after their graduation – a real success story!
This being said, PROJECT-E is looking to a future of continuous encouragement and support of the youth in Ethiopia and worldwide to increase the professional acquiring of skills and vocational education. Thus, let us jointly celebrate the importance of the World Youth Skills Day 2019 on our way to a more sustainable future!
Written by Mera Dellin
United Nations: World Youth Skills Day 15 July, https://www.un.org/en/events/youthskillsday/
UNESCO-UNEVOC: Celebrating World Youth Skills Day on 15 July, https://unevoc.unesco.org/wysd/World+Youth+Skills+Day
African Union (AU): Continental Strategy For Technical Vocational Education And Training (TVET), https://au.int/sites/default/files/pressreleases/35308-pr-tvet-english_-_final_2.pdf